Responsible gun owners should always prioritize safety when it comes to their firearms. Whether you are at home or work, running errands, or simply travelling, it’s critical  that your guns are stored as safely and securely as possible.

When travelling by car, you may be legally obligated to store your firearms in a certain way. Some states require  firearms be locked in the trunk, while in others any locked case is sufficient. Even if you are not legally required by law to secure your firearms in a certain way, storing your guns securely prevents theft and unauthorized access to them.

In this article, we will look at the reasons for owning a car or truck safe, the features to look for, and a selection of the best safes currently available.

Why should I invest in a gun safe for my car or truck?

Legal obligations For Gun Owners

Some states have specific legal requirements for travelling with a gun; you may be required to lock any firearms in your possession within a locked safe in the trunk, while some states will not have strict requirements about the location of the safe. Other states do not have any restrictions on how you carry a weapon whilst driving, but there may be other considerations.

You are generally not allowed to carry a weapon into certain buildings including courthouses, educational facilities, post offices, other local and federal government premises, and places of worship. To prevent legal problems regarding safe transit of firearms, it is best to invest in a locked safe for your motor vehicle.

Preventing ​Theft 

You can become a victim of theft within seconds. If you’re in a hurry, it may be tempting to simply store firearms in your glove compartment or other unsecured areas of your vehicle. This is especially the case if you are visiting somewhere for a short amount of time. In a rush, some folks may even fail to conceal their weapon properly, leaving it on display to tempt thieves. Eliminate this risk entirely by storing your gun within a locked safe. Even if you are leaving your car for just a moment, make sure  your gun is locked away.

Protecting the safety of children and the general public

We all know how curious children can be. If you are travelling with children and an unsecured firearm, you may be placing yourself, your children, and the general public in unnecessary danger. A child can easily remove a gun from a regular holster and if they are to get their hands on a weapon it can end in disaster.

Despite your best efforts to educate children, they may not know the difference between playing with a toy gun and operating a real firearm. This potentially deadly scenario can be  avoided simply by stowing your guns in a locked safe while travelling. It protects you, your children, and the public from harm, and once it is done, you can go about your errands with the confidence that your weapon is securely stored.

​Best Rated Truck Gun Safes Comparison Table

What features should I look for when purchasing a gun safe for my car or truck?

A good-quality lock and reliable access options

When purchasing any gun safe, whatever the capacity and wherever the location, you must always ensure that the locking system is fit for purpose. Check for information about the number of live and fixed bolts (the higher the better), and opt for safes with backup features such as automatic re-lockers. When it comes to accessing your weapons, you will be looking to find a balance between convenience and reliable security. There are many options available. Traditional lock-and-key safes are simple to use, but the security of your firearms may be compromised if keys fall into the wrong hands, and if the keys are lost, it can be expensive to get the lock open again. It may even result in the safe becoming inoperable. A manual or keypad combination lock is the next step up; unique codes make your safe more secure, and most come with a backup master key in case the combination is forgotten or, in the case of an electronic keypad, power is lost. Finally, a new generation of gun safes with biometric access has hit the market. They use fingerprint recognition technology to provide fast and reliable access to your weapons. As with electronic keypads, power failure can make biometric-access safes unusable, but all are supplied with backup master keys.

Solid construction

Even though a car or truck safe is smaller than the behemoth static safes found within the home, it must still be strong and sturdy. The gauge of metal used in construction of a safe tells you about the thickness and strength of its materials. A lower gauge indicates a thicker layer of steel, i.e. 12-gauge is stronger than 16-gauge. As well as the metal gauge, it is prudent to look for additional safety features such as reinforcements in the safe door, the hinges, and behind the lock. The stronger the components of a safe, the less likely that a thief can break in.

Anchoring and installation options

There are several options available when it comes to installing your vehicle safe. Some can be installed independently, either by using steel security cables, or bolting the safe directly into a cavity within the car. You may be more inclined to have a mechanic or gun safe specialist performing the installation; that way, you can be assured that the task has been completed professionally. There is little point to investing in a safe for the car if poor installation makes it easy to remove.

Sufficient capacity for your Guns

If you are travelling regularly with a rifle, it is important to purchase a vehicle safe that gives you sufficient capacity. Small safes that can be installed in a central console within a car are perfect for handgun owners, but if there is any prospect that you will be carrying a larger weapon in your car, it is worthwhile to make the investment at the start, rather than having to pay for another, larger safe further down the line.

Our Car and Truck Gun Safe Reviews

1. SnapSafe Keyed Large Lock Box

Built from 16-gauge steel, with pry-resistant technology built in, this vehicle safe provides good protection at an extremely reasonable price. A 1500lb-rated security cable is included, which allows you to secure the safe within your car. Such is the quality of this product, that it is approved by the TSA according to its strict guidelines for travelling with a firearm. Protective foam inserts are included, which help to prevent scratches to your weapon and any other valuables stored within the safe. With generous internal dimensions (9.5”x 6.5”x 1.75”), there is plenty of room for your handgun, ammunition, and valuables such as your passport, wallet, and jewelry. The safe is secured with a standard lock and key.

Pros:

  • Simple, smart, and pry-resistant design
  • TSA-approved
  • Strong steel security cable included
  • Capacity for a handgun, ammunition, and other valuables
  • Excellent price point

Cons:

  • 16-gauge steel may not be sufficiently strong for some gun owners
  • No mounting options beyond the security cable

Summary: An inexpensive and smartly-designed lock box, with a steel cable to secure to stationary objects within your car or truck. TSA approval means its use is not limited to travel by road. The simplicity may not be attractive to all gun owners, but for the price, it’s a good deal.

2. Bulldog Cases Car Safe

Another good safe at a great price, with mounting hardware included. The Bulldog Car Safe is constructed from 18-gauge steel, finished in matte black, with a scratch-resistant interior. A mounting bracket is included in the box, alongside a 3’ steel security cable, making installation straightforward and secure. When the safe is locked, it is not possible to move it from the mounting bracket, which gives you confidence when leaving a firearm in your vehicle. Interior dimensions of 7″ x 5.25″ x 2″ provide sufficient space for a handgun and ammunition.

Pros:

  • Great price point
  • Mounting hardware included; no need to buy additional accessories
  • Safe is secured and cannot be removed from mounting bracket once locked
  • Sufficient capacity for a handgun and ammunition

Cons:

  • 18-gauge steel is not strong enough for many gun owners
  • A simple design may not meet more complex requirements

Summary: Another great value vehicle safe, with an incredibly useful mounting bracket and security cable included in the box. The 18-gauge steel construction and lack of additional features may put some gun owners off, but if you’re looking for a simple, straightforward design at a good price, this is a great choice.

3. VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe

In contrast to the simple designs we have already seen, the VAULTEK VT20i is packed with features and technological innovations. It is constructed from 16-gauge carbon steel with anti-pry bars, two-point anti-impact latches, interior mounted hinges, and interior security brackets.

Fast and reliable access is given via a high-resolution biometric scanner, which can store up to 20 unique fingerprints. You also have the option to use an illuminated numeric keypad, or a backup master key. A rechargeable battery is included in the box, as well as a charging device, which allows you to make considerable savings on batteries over the lifetime of the safe. In addition, VAULTEK have developed a smartphone app, which gives you the opportunity to look at who has opened the safe and when, check battery power levels, adjust settings, and even unlock the safe remotely. Bluetooth encryption gives you peace of mind that smartphone integration is secure.

Pre-drilled mounting holes and a steel security cable are included, to make anchoring straightforward, and the safe meets TSA guidelines, which makes it perfect for travel. Internal dimensions of 1.0″ x 5.75″ x 2.0″ provide necessary capacity for a handgun and ammunition, plus any other valuables you may be travelling with.

Pros:

  • The most technologically-advanced portable safe, with biometric access and smartphone app integration
  • Reinforcement features built in
  • Backup keypad and master key options
  • Pre-drilled mounting holes and steel security cable included for straightforward installation
  • TSA-approved
  • Rechargeable battery and charger included

Cons:

  • 16-gauge steel may not be strong enough for some gun owners

Summary: One of the most impressive portable gun safes on the market, with pioneering smartphone integration and biometric technology built in. Some owners may require a stronger gauge of steel, but reinforcement of the outer material and internal components make this sturdier than competitors. A great choice for the regular traveler looking to make a solid investment.

4. Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe

Built from strong 10-gauge steel, with a 3/16” tamper-resistant wraparound door, the Fort Knoxx PB1 is practically impossible to break into; possessing the integrity of a large gun safe in a compact design. Tamper-resistant hinges add extra protection, whilst a lifetime guarantee gives you confidence in the quality of your investment.

Despite its sturdy construction, a fast-action mechanical combination lock and compressed gas strut make authorized access quick and convenient. Internal dimensions of 4¼” x 12½” x 10 3/8” provide plenty of room for up to two handguns, whilst the soft interior prevents scratches and other damage to your firearms.

Pros:

  • 10-gauge steel construction is extremely strong for a safe of this size
  • Door design and reinforcement features prevent unauthorized access attempts
  • A fast-action combination lock and compressed gas strut makes authorized entry quick and easy
  • Plenty of capacity for up to two handguns

Cons:

  • Anchoring equipment not included; will need to be purchased separately

Summary: The sturdiest of all safes we have reviewed, with additional reinforcement features built in. The construction and useful extras, such as compressed gas strut, give this safe a premium feel. A lack of mounting hardware is an unfortunate omission; had this been included, it would be a perfect package. Still, this is the strongest and most reliable car safe on offer.

5. GunVault NanoVault 200

Built from 18-gauge steel, with a straightforward key-locking system and a slim design, this super-portable safe is an ideal choice for gun owners looking to minimize bulk whilst travelling. A steel security cable is included in the box, to help you ensure your handgun and other valuables are well-anchored. The interior measures 9½” x 6½” x 1¾”, providing sufficient space for a handgun, and foam inserts prevent any damage to its contents. This safe is TSA-compliant and weighs just three pounds.

Pros:

  • Lightweight, slim, and TSA-compliant; perfect for travel
  • A security cable is included in the box
  • Foam inserts to prevent damage to your firearms and other valuable
  • Good price point

Cons:

  • 18-gauge steel is not the strongest available
  • Locking system and lack of additional features may not suit some gun owners

Summary: An inexpensive, portable, and TSA-compliant gun safe, which is perfect for those on the move. Its 18-gauge construction and simple design may not suit everyone, but it’s a great little addition for frequent travelers looking to keep bulk to a minimum.

6. Snapsafe Treklite Lock Box

The only safe in our review which is not built from steel; instead, impact-resistant polycarbonate is promised to provide strength without the weight. Indeed, at just 2.4 pounds, it is the lightest of the bunch, and the consensus amongst customers is that it does the job perfectly well. A 1500lb-rated steel security cable is included in the box, which allows you to secure the safe to a stationery object or fixed part of your vehicle. The safe is secured with a standard lock and key.

Its interior is 10” x 7” x 2”, fitted with foam inserts to protect your handgun, ammunition, and other valuables from damage. This safe is TSA-approved; in combination with its slim, lightweight design, it makes an excellent travel safe.

Pros:

  • Exceptionally lightweight and compact, as well as compliant with TSA regulations; a perfect safe for travel
  • A steel security cable is included, to assist anchoring to secure objects and fixed parts of the car
  • Sufficient capacity for a handgun and ammunition

Cons:

  • Some owners will be unimpressed with a gun safe made from innovative polycarbonate, rather than tried-and-tested steel
  • Straightforward design may not suit more complex requirements

Summary: Another worthy contender in the ‘lightweight and travel-friendly’ category. Creating a gun safe from a material other than steel is a bold move, but customers seem to be impressed. The steel security cable is a worthy inclusion, and this safe is certainly suitable to those who are travelling regularly.

7. Liberty 9G Colt Smart Vault Biometric Safe

Built from 14-gauge steel, with anti-pry tabs and a reinforced latch system, the Liberty 9G is certainly a sturdy contender. A biometric scanner, which can hold up to 15 unique fingerprints, provides fast and secure access in under two seconds with a 9V battery, and within one second if it is plugged into an AC power source. A backup key is included. In addition, an auto-opening door makes access even more convenient.

Mounting holes are pre-drilled into the safe, which makes installation in your car or truck straightforward. The illuminated and padded interior measures 12.5” x 11.5” x 7”, providing ample capacity for two handguns, plus ammunition and any other valuables you may wish to store whilst travelling in your vehicle. The premium navy blue finish gives the impression of superior quality.

Pros:

  • 14-gauge steel is sturdier than many other competitors; in combination with additional reinforcements, this is a strong and reliable choice
  • A biometric scanner and auto-opening door makes access quick and convenient
  • The interior is spacious and well-padded, to prevent scratches and damage
  • Mounting holes are pre-drilled

Cons:

  • A security cable would have been a worthwhile inclusion

8. Gunbunker GS-1 Vehicle Gun Safe

The Gunbunker GS-1 is constructed from 16-gauge powder-coated steel, with a high-security key lock, tamper-proof collar, and a latch which passes through three layers of steel; in combination, these features offer excellent protection against attempts to gain unauthorized access by force. A steel security cable is also included, to optimize the anti-theft capabilities of the safe.

The design of this gun safe makes it suitable for use with a variety transport methods, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, trucks, boats, light aircraft, as well as at home and in the workplace. It is the only safe amongst those we have reviewed that is specifically suitable for motorbikes, making it an ideal choice for those on two wheels. Vertical and horizontal mounting holes are pre-drilled.

Designed with a trapezium shape, the internal dimensions are 1.5” x 6”, with a short side length of 6.25” and a long side length of 7.75”. There is sufficient room to store a handgun plus ammunition, and the shape facilitates fast retrieval of your weapon.

Pros:

  • An innovative shape, which makes it suitable for a wider range of vehicular applications, including motorbikes
  • Comprehensive anti-theft features
  • Security cable included
  • Vertical and horizontal mounting holes pre-drilled
  • Interior foam padding to help prevent damage

Cons:

  • 16-gauge steel is not the sturdiest construction material
  • Price point is high for a safe without a keypad or biometric scanner

Summary: An interesting design and built-in anti-theft features make this a viable choice, particularly for motorbike owners. Vertical and horizontal mounting options aid versatility, and the included security cable is welcome. Had this safe been constructed from a sturdier gauge of steel, it would be a more attractive prospect, and the price does seem a little high in the absence of a keypad or biometric scanner. Still, it is a great choice for gun owners utilizing a range of transport options.

We hope this article helps you to select your new car or truck safe! Check out our other pages to help you choose a gun safe under $500, or review the best of the crop in 2018.